Her name is Sasha and she has been my constant companion for seventeen years. Within the last few months, she started to exhibit weird behavior. It seemed to me that she showed signs of confusion, especially at night.
Curious, I did some research. according to Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM at http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesconditionscat/tp/feline-dementia.htm older cats can develop dementia just like older people. Some, but not all of the symptoms, she describes are what Sasha is showing.
There will often be increased or excessive vocalizations. Sasha is definitely talking more. Her most vocal times are at night when we are trying to sleep. Although recently, I have noticed more daytime “talking.” As long as she can see us, she is fine. However, once we are out of sight, she starts up. I know this is “humanizing” her noises, but, it sounds like she’s yelling, “Momma!” Honestly, it breaks my heart because she sounds so lost and scared.
This behavior goes right along with the symptom Dr. Crosby talks about:increased agitation, especially at night. She also says the cat may develop separation anxiety. I’m positive Sasha has that. One night, Greg brought her into the bedroom and put her at the foot of my bed. She rushed to my head and started rubbing my face. Then she settled in beside me, contented…until the next time she got up and wandered out of the room.
Other signs are: sleeping more than usual, decreased appetite, and irritability.
I haven’t noticed these symptoms, yet. Although, Sasha doesn’t eat her wet food anymore, she still seems to eat the dry food. As for the sleeping more…don’t cats sleep a lot, anyway.
I have to admit, Sasha used to be cranky, but she is much more docile now. It used to be, if I pushed her away, she would reach out and claw me. Now, she just moves away. So much for getting irritable. Maybe, since she was already “mean” the dementia calmed her down.
I must add, the doctor says other things can cause the activities I’ve mentioned and she suggests you make an appointment with your vet if you notice them happening.